Minced meat and more

Minced meat is a cheap and versatile ingredient, it has many uses and can be served as the main component of a dish like a hamburger or as a part of a dish such as meatballs with spaghetti and spinach.

Minced meat is a cheap and versatile ingredient, it has many uses and can be served as the main component of a dish like a hamburger or as a part of a dish such as meatballs with spaghetti and spinach.

with Bridge House Hotel Award Winning chef Paddy Kennedy

Minced meat should always be purchased from a reliable source with full tractability available. Ideally your mince should be bought from your local butcher who minces it in view of the customer. If buying pre packed mince make sure the pack feels cold and is sealed.

Keep mince in a sealed bag so you won’t contaminate other goods in your shopping basket. Finally always buy your mince last when shopping and place in the fridge immediately when you get home.

The ‘Taste of Offaly’ Showcase was a great success Last Sunday and it was a pleasure to participate in it. I met with a lot of local producers whose products we are using at the Bridge House and some of whom we will definitely be talking to in the future. It is very important to support local producers and the quality of the range of products showcased on Sunday was of a very high standard.

Homemade Hamburgers

Ingredients to serve 4

600g - Irish beef mince

1 tbsp. - Dijon mustard

2 - Shallots peeled and very finely diced

1 - Egg

1 tbsp. - Chopped parsley

1 tbsp. - Chopped basil

1tsp - Worcestershire sauce

Salt and milled pepper

Method

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well

Shape into four round patties

Pan-fry or grill until cooked through.

Serve in a toasted bun with some home-made tomato relish

Sprinkle with some grated Mossfield cheese if desired

Serve with some rocket salad and home-made chips.

Meat balls with spaghetti and spinach in a tomato sauce with Mossfield farm cheese

Ingredients Serves four

300g - Minced beef

300g - Minced pork

2 - Shallots finely diced

1 - Whole egg

1 - Clove garlic crushed

1 Tbsp. - Chopped basil

1 Tbsp. - Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp. - Tomato puree

Method

Combine all of the above ingredients in a bowl and mix well

Form in to 20 meatballs approx. 30g each

Coat in flour before frying

Fry gently in a hot pan with some oil until cooked through (turn down heat if cooking too much on the outside)

For the tomato sauce

4 Ripe plum tomatoes de-seeded and diced

1 tbsp. Tomato puree

100 ml - Tomato juice

1 - Clove garlic crushed

2 - Shallots finely diced

25ml - white wine

25ml - Virgin olive oil

1 tbsp. - Shredded basil

To make the sauce

Place the olive in a small hot saucepan and add the shallot and garlic, cook until soft, add the tomato puree and white wine.

Add the tomato juice and chopped tomato

Simmer for about ten minutes and add shredded basil

100g - Spinach leaves blanched with stalks removed

200g - spaghetti

(Boil for 10 minutes in boiling water with some salt and oil, cool off and drain)

100g - Mossfield farm cheese grated

Finish the dish by combining sauce, spaghetti and meatballs and add in the blanched spinach, top with cheese.

Serve with some crispy garlic bread.

Enjoy

This week’s featured ingredient - Spinach

Spinach, a green leaf vegetable, is available fresh from early spring and comes in leaves from baby size up to leaves of about 30cm. Spinach has a high nutritional value and is rich in antioxidants when very fresh and simply steamed, it is a rich source of vitamins A,C,E and K.

It has many culinary uses and can be served as part of a complex dish or as a side dish to accompany a main meal item.

Spinach is easily cooked by simply removing the stalks and washing well and placing in a large pan with some olive and crushed garlic, Stir for a couple of minutes and season with salt and milled pepper.

Frozen spinach is also easily cooked by removing from packaging and place in a sieve to thaw out, Squeeze out all water. Heat a small pot and add a little cream and butter and a little crushed garlic bring to the boil and season with salt and pepper and a little nutmeg.

Stir in the well-drained spinach and serve when hot.

PK TIPS

To crush garlic

First break up the head of garlic and place cloves into some hot water, when cool remove and they will be very easy to peel as the hot water releases the skin form the bulb.

Chop the cloves coarsely and sprinkle with some salt. Slide the knife sideways over and back across the garlic until fully crushed.